Legion members given go-ahead to wear forget-me-nots in 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador veterans first in Canada to be granted special permission to wear pins
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel, legion members in Newfoundland and Labrador have been granted special permission to wear a forget-me-not on their uniforms in 2016.
"The forget-me-not flower has been a staple of Newfoundland remembrance since World War One," said Frank Gogos, public relations officer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Command, Royal Canadian Legion.
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Anything worn on the left lapel of a union, Gogos said, has to be cleared by the Rituals and Awards Committee of Dominion Command — something that does not happen often.
"It does occasionally [happen] from time to time, but nothing to this extent. With 2016 being the 100th anniversary [of Beaumont-Hamel] and with what it's meant to Newfoundland and Labrador ... this is a very special designation given to the Newfoundland and Labrador command."
Forget-me-nots first gained popularity between the 1920s and 1960s, Gogos said, when the Great War Veteran's Association of Newfoundland adopted the flower for its annual Memorial Day fundraiser.
In recent years, he said, the flower has made a comeback.
"Many legion members wanted an official policy for this," said Gogos.
"It's going to give a sense of pride and remembrance to those soldiers and sailors who fought for Newfoundland during the Great War."
Gogos believes most, if not all, legion members in the province will wear the forget-me-not year-round, with the exception of the two weeks prior to Remembrance Day, when members will be expected to wear a poppy.
- A prior version of this story inaccurately described Frank Gogos as the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Command. He is the public relations officer.Dec 14, 2015 8:19 AM NT